Have you ever wondered why the Bible has 4 books of the New Testament that talk about Jesus’ ministry, and time here on earth? Is there a purpose to having more than one? If we look at who the authors were, how they grew up, and their life’s vantage point; we can understand why God inspired all of them to write their accounts of Jesus’ time on earth. Together they prove that these truly are eye-witness accounts of real events, because they do not copy one another, nor do they contradict each other.
Matthew was a rich and well-educated Jew, and one of the twelve disciples. He begins his account by establishing who Jesus was by giving Jesus’ full genealogy, starting from Abraham. Matthew knew that the entire Old Testament was written in anticipation of the Messiah who would save them, and Matthew is saying: “HERE HE IS!” There are over 300 prophecy references made about Jesus in the Old Testament, some of them made thousands of years before His birth, and Jesus fulfilled them all: 100%. The accounts of Matthew are written to help Jews recognize Jesus as their promised King: who did not come to conquer mankind, but to conquer sin and set mankind free.
Mark was a very young man during Jesus’ ministry, and although he was not part of the 12 disciples; he and his mother were well-known by the disciples as they followed Jesus along beside them. Mark was also a Jew, but he grew up in the Roman culture and wrote from his Roman understanding. He gave picturesque descriptions in vivid detail, showcasing Jesus’ service, sacrifice, and triumph; while also allowing us to see the disappointment, hurt, affection, and weariness that Jesus experienced. Mark let us see how much Jesus loved us, all while knowing that we would crucify Him. Mark revealed Jesus as the servant of all, our burden bearer; and this is why Mark began the book declaring that this is “Good News!”
Luke was a Syrian medical doctor and writes from the Greek perspective, with great analyzation. Luke was not present during of the ministry of Jesus, but had heard about Jesus later from the Apostle Paul. Luke lets us know from the start that he has investigated and documented everything he could find out about Jesus, and had grilled many eyewitnesses regarding every detail. He starts with Jesus’ childhood, family relations, cultural upbringing, and Jesus’ genealogy going back to the first man. Luke showcases Jesus in full humanity, intently focused with compassion on those are outcasts, as well as those who live on the fringe of society. Because of Luke’s profession as a doctor, we know by his written medical account, that Jesus really did die on the cross; which makes His rising from the dead, and ascension into heaven that much sweeter.
John was also a disciple of Jesus, and revealed Jesus as the full divinity of God. John bridges the connection between Jesus in the Gospels, and the identity of the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts. Instead of cultural or societal understanding of Jesus, John focuses his writing to show the change Jesus brought to the spiritual realm. John makes it clear that Salvation has a cost, and that the cost was paid by Jesus, who now offers it to us as a gift; but we must ask and seek after it. John himself was loyal, standing firm when all others ran away, and is described as the disciple that Jesus loved and trusted most. John is the only one who showed in his writing that Jesus’ death on the cross was not just an act of compassion, but proof of His divinity. John desired to increase people’s faith.
God is truly amazing, for He has given us the account of Jesus that covers multiple different learning styles, and values of importance. Which Gospel book stands out to you? Try reading that book; if not for the first time, try reading it with fresh eyes. Allow Jesus to minister to you in the revelation of who He is, and who He created you to be.
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